• Has MS cleaned up its Win10-update mess? (Spoiler: No!)

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    WOODY’S WINDOWS WATCH By Woody Leonhard Give Microsoft some credit: it keeps trying to improve patch quality. But in spite of two significant improvem
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    • #1962409

      Wonder why there were no Win 7/8.1 Optional ‘Preview Patches’ issued for September week C?
      Just curious..(NOT that we should install them unless there is an urgent need/fix to do so)

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
      • #1962417

        There had been months were they released the previews on Week D (or even the last day on the month)

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        • #1962476

          Yep, Week D and even Week E (you don’t hear much about that one, eh?) are common. But it’s unusual to skip all versions of Windows in Week C. At least, that’s my recollection…

          • #1962492

            we’ll have to wait between Tue 9/24 to Fri 9/27 to find out if new preview rollups for win7 & win8.1 come out

            perhaps this month it’s due to the problems/issues with the latest 1903 CU that MS hasn’t released the new preview rollups yet

            • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by EP.
          • #1962502

            or perhaps the v1909 feature upgrade service pack impending..

            Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
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            • #1963253

              Microfix, I think you may be right. I’m thinking of holding off on 1903 and going straight for 1909 sometime later this year.

              -- rc primak

    • #1962410

      Maybe, just maybe, if one of the largest software companies decided to re-institute QC and testing departments, hopefully employing people who know what they are doing and likely cost more than the “current” talent, there might be a change.

      The person or persons writing the code SHOULD NEVER be testing the code for final QC.  They can test as they go, but once signed off, another entity that actually has a plan for comprehensive testing should then be involved.  And when bugs are discovered, and hopefully fixed, the testing MUST roll back to the starting point and re-test not just the fix but everything else contained in that testing unit.

      I’m not holding my breath.  3rd party talent, even if hired to work as employees, has no vested interest in doing anything more than delivering lines of code and closing a ticket.  Testing only covers “does it work now”, and not “under all circumstances” nor “did we break anything else with this fix”.  And how could they when not one of them has any idea what the bigger picture actually is.

      And it goes without saying, but unpaid “beta testers” in the form of hapless computer users inflicted beyond their control with poor updates and patches does not constitute “testing” nor “QC”.

      Eventually this house of cards will come crashing down and likely take the entire user base with it.

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      • #1963255

        In a commercial environment, it is a Cardinal Sin to have those who write the code be solely responsible for debugging their own code. Heck, that’s true even in open-source projects!

        -- rc primak

    • #1962461

      I knew Berg back in the day, and this video (link below) is an excellent explanation on why Windows patch quality has declined. I agree with and can corroborate pretty much everything he points out about the loss of the primary test team, and the move to testing on VM’s versus diverse physical hardware. And those daily/weekly meetings were part of the overall culture for all Test/Dev/PM teams across almost all products at MSFT, not just the Windows team. I’ve been hearing that those meetings are still happening in most groups, but that the emphasis is no longer “as strong” as it used to be.

      In other words, the key test leaders no longer have as much power to call a ship-stopper bug if needed.


      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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    • #1962475

      Microsoft is following a business model that works for Microsoft.  “Windows 10 is now running on more than 700 million devices, including PCs, tablets, phones, and even Xbox One consoles.”

      How many total users are affected by updates?  It takes 7,000,000 to reach a level of 1%.  Is Microsoft going to restructure their business model for the 1%, or are they going to keep chugging forward with that 99%?

      AskWoody is a small microcosm of Windows users, and not everyone is using Windows 10.  How many of us are all running the exact same OEM PC/software combination?  How many in-house testers would Microsoft need to hire just to replicate the diversity of AskWoody Windows 10-using members?  We are not all having the same issues with the same updates.

      I have a simple once-and-done method for dealing with updates that allows me to be a Seeker.  In the wee hours every Sunday morning, Task Scheduler launches Image For Windows and creates drive images for three of my Windows installations.  The other two installations are the B side of my dual-boot machines and offline, but they will get their images, too, when I reboot over.

      Some time Sunday or Monday I copy those drive images to a 3TB HDD docked into the top of my NAS, then undock it and store it away for safe-keeping.  However, up to this point in time, I haven’t had any issues with any Windows Updates.  I was using the first release of 1809 until Microsoft pulled it.  When they pulled it, I restored drive images of 1803 and waited for the re-issue.

      My point is be prepared so that you can quickly and easily recover if something goes sideways on you.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

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    • #1962489

      This continuing mess should come as no surprise.  The initial problem began when MS got way too big for its britches and bit off too much with Windows-10 supposedly going to be the one-size-fits-all Operating System.  Big Fail.  The concept of one-size-fits-all has never work and never will work.  The concept of modular design seems to have been ignored, in that whether or not a user wants all the fluff and folderol in Windows-10, they are stuck with it.  Two of many illustrations:  If a user doesn’t do gaming, synching, touch screens, etc., etc., why must they install all that needless complexity and code?  Now, with the lack of modularity, when anything “breaks,” regardless of where in some piece of seldom-used code, the whole OS is now “broken.”

      MS had best rethink their stated “drop dead date” for WIndows-7 in January 2020.  Enterprise editions has already been given an extension.  When are Pro editions going to be given an extension?  How can MS reasonably expect business and serious consumer users of a reliable, albeit old OS, switch to an unreliable/unstable OS?  As for the much-vaunted “security enhancements” of Windows-10…very debatable at the very least.


      • #1962561

        It appears you have not been paying much attention to Windows development. Windows is becoming more modular with each feature release. You can uninstall more inbox apps. Windows respects your decisions from that time forward. Some old inbox Win32 apps are being moved to the Microsoft Store thereby removing them from the Windows update timing. I never have had the impression that Windows 10 is the one-size-fits-all OS. What do you think is not modular? I do not see the everything is broken part when a bug is found. Please submit a detailed example.

        Microsoft has made a business decision about the Windows 7 end-of-service date. Enterprises have been given the opportunity to PAY for extended support. Microsoft can expect people to upgrade to a newer OS the same way they expected people to leave XP. Yes, XP got an extension when enterprises said they could not migrate in time. Businesses and serious consumers have a choice. Windows 7 is not going to stop working on January 2020. IMO, for MOST users & businesses it would be foolish to keep using Windows 7 online after that. No one is going to force an upgrade.

        Most of the people I read who are more knowledgable than I about security say Windows 10 is more secure than 7, 8, or 8.1. You are free to disagree but how about backing it up with something more substantial than “I think it is debatable”.


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        • #1963341

          “MOST users & businesses it would be foolish to keep using Windows ”

          Why would you say businesses as Enterprise/Volume Licensees can purchase extended Windows 7 security updates until 2023 from Microsoft. And you know that it’s very likely the cost of vetting/certifying that company’s  mission critical software on any  OS/New OS version  is what’s very likely keeping some on windows 7 after Jan 2020.

          And Windows XP was still in use after its EOL for the very same reason that 7 will be continued to be used after its EOL. So some company that was maybe in the last of the companies to go from Windows XP to Windows 7  will still want a few more years to fully amortize the expensive vetting/certifying cost of going from XP to 7 and it’s the very same for 7 to 10 as far as mission critical software vetting/certifying costs are concerned.

          And that mission critical software vetting/certifying cost is much more costly than any single OS license that’s relatively minor in comparison. So those Extended Windows 7 security updates fees until 2023 represent the lower cost after the cost/benefit analysis numbers where crunched and that business has 3 more years to more gradually and inside their quarterly budget constraints get that mission critical software certified for Windows 10.

          And Windows 10’s more rapid update cadence is not helping matters as far as getting a company’s costly mission critical software vetted/certified on that always moving target that is Windows 10.


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    • #1962552

      Out of band, catalog-only cumulative update for Windows 10 version 1903

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    • #1962583

      As Windows 10 continues to mature, Microsoft introduces new “features” into the OS. Very few of these “features” are of any interest to me, and I don’t use them. If they are unobtrusive, not jumping out at me from around the next corner, they are easy enough to ignore, and I let them be. On the other hand, Libraries and Special Folders clutter my Explorer window, jump out at me in “Save” and “Save as” dialog boxes, they aren’t so easy to ignore. So I get rid of them. I go digging into the registry, find those litle [fellows], and rip out every reference to them that I can find. And there are several for each one.

      In other words, when I want to save a text file, for example, the path at the top of the dialog box doesn’t say “This PC > Documents”. There is no such path to be found on my PC. Instead, Windows defaults to the last path I used when I saved a text file, and the path at the top of the dialog box usually says “DH87RLA > Users 10A (V:) > Users > bbearren > Documents”. If I want instead to save the text file to my Desktop, I click the Up arrow to the left of the path, then double-click “Desktop” in my User folder, and now I’m in “DH87RLA > Users 10A (V:) > Users > bbearren > Desktop”. I’m still using Windows the same way I used it before Libraries and Special Folders were introduced.

      I do have libraries. Mine are dedicated partitions (they show up as logical drives in Explorer). It’s a system I began developing in the late ’90’s and refined over the course of several years. My libraries are the reason that I don’t use “Search” to find a file, I just use Explorer, because I know where that file is. I disabled Search and Indexing years ago; for me they are a complete waste of CPU cycles.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #1962613

      When the noise after a feature update releases is more about bugs than about the features themselves, it would probably be a better idea to slow down the release cadence.

      I don’t know any non computer savvy non gaming user that is waiting for any new feature in Windows and that is excited to get a feature update. These people don’t follow tech news and they don’t line up anymore before a new version of Windows is out. They all just want to use their computer for the software they run on it, not for the OS. It is not cool anymore to talk about OS. The world has moved to mobile gadgets. Who are we catering to here?

      Are IT people excited to deploy those feature releases? Some security and some other new features might be interesting, but I think we could wait another 6 months for them in exchange for improved quality. Having to constantly review changes in an OS that never gets settled feels like a futile exercise.

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      • #1962779

        MS has boxed itself into a corner with new Windows ‘features’. Most of what they tout is only useful to a limited number of users and are probably best handled as extra, optional modules. About the only feature any user will care about to a degree is support for the latest Bluetooth or USB version and the like, assuming they have installed hardware that supports the latest version. Mostly so they use their peripherals. Otherwise OSes have been essentially feature complete for several years if not a decade or more for the average user.

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    • #1962781

      Who are we catering to here?

      To Microsoft, of course.  Those feature updates are not for the users!  Not much about Windows 10 is.

      It serves Microsoft’s interests to be able to push out new kinds of monetization or other Microsoft-serving bits as soon as it comes up with them (or as soon as people are willing to tolerate them).  Having frequent updates (as part of SaaS) with headline-grabbing new features as a vehicle for these Microsoft-serving changes is a handy way to divert attention from the negatives and keep the focus on all of the new shinies.

      We’ve seen a few trial balloons go up here and there, like the thing about Microsoft using sync provider notifications to push ads, but we’re still in the period where MS is hoping Windows 7 will slip quietly away.  They can’t go to 11 on the monetization yet, but they will have an infrastructure in place that will allow them to do that once everyone’s corralled into Windows 10.

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

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      • #1963257

        Ascaris, you are going to really love Microsoft when they move the entire Desktop to the Cloud!

        -- rc primak

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      • #1963355

        Yes Microsoft has attrition or their side so will just bide its time and become just like the local cable company on most folks’ PC/Laptop products where MS has majority OS market share. It will become with Windows 10 a virtual cable provider wrapped in a another cable provider’s  back haul and last mile infrastructure and more monetization added on in an OS encapsulated layer.

        And folks thought that they were getting away with cutting that coaxial cable and replacing that with some ISP provided TCP/IP detour around any cable TV fees. So soon it will be OSAAS and the same for any Applications that run on the OSAAS business model with ads pushed out from everywhere in the communication chain and telemetry collected and sold as well.

    • #1963955

      I’ve had my share of problems with Windows updates over the years, but nothing compared to the 1903 debacle. Currently, I am stuck with a system I cannot upgrade.

      I do music production and I have a good Dell Precision Tower 3620 with 64.0 GB of memory, Intel i7-7700 4.20 GHz, Thunderbolt interface for audio recording and playback.

      I first tried the 1903 update in June and it crippled the performance of my computer. SSD hard disk performed bad, search indexing broken, and audio dropouts even playing a single audio file. I successfully rolled-back to 1809 where the system is stable and performs well. Changed updates from “targeted” to “semi-annual”.

      I tried again this week with 1903 update. Audio VST plugins used in music production broke due to corrupted or missing dependencies on older 2013 VC++ redistributable libraries. Reinstalled 2013 libraries and got the plugins working. Unfortunately, the system remained sluggish with audio dropouts. Boot-up time is much, much slower. I gave up and rolled-back to 1809 where once again my system is stable and performing well.

      I have now put the delay at 365 days but I’m living on borrowed time. I have no idea at this point how to fix/configure my system so it works with 1903. I don’t even want to try again. I’d love to stay on 1809 and just get security updates and bug fixes. No new features.

    • #1965512

      I read this whole thread and think that we all want some stable and reliable build, that wont be messing with our personal settings, drivers and user data. The only way is through LSTB/LSTC – I think this is the best solution for reliability and stability – we already have few of LSTB here. I really want to leave this updating mess behind my back and focus on important things.

      Maybe I am wrong, but like 99% of that 700 milion devices/users are not aware of new functions nor use them. Totally wasting developpers’ and users’ (admins mostly) time. Just make more money, huh? Rich gets richer.

      Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

      HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      PRUSA i3 MK3S+

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